Carotid stiffness is significantly correlated with wall-to-lumen ratio of retinal arterioles

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Backgroud and purpose:

Wall-to-lumen ratio of retinal arterioles (W/L ratio) might serve as an in-vivo parameter of microvascular damage. No study has investigated the relationship between carotid stiffness and W/L ratio of retinal arteries. Therefore, the aim of the current study was to assess the correlation between local carotid stiffness, as assessed by echotracking technique, and W/L ratio of retinal arterioles, as assessed by noninvasive flowmetry in normotensive patients and in patients with primary hypertension.


Two hundred and twenty-seven patients underwent renal arteries W/L ratio and local carotid-pulse wave velocity (carotid PWV) measurement. One hundred and fifteen patients had a diagnosis of primary hypertension, whereas 112 were normotensive patients.


W/L ratio and carotid PWV were both related with clinic SBP (r = 0.17, P < 0.05; r = 0.50, P < 0.001), clinic pulse pressure (r = 0.22, P < 0.001; r = 0.55, P < 0.001), carotid SBP (r = 0.18, P < 0.05; r = 0.51, P < 0.001) and carotid pulse pressure (r = 0.24, P < 0.001; r = 0.56, P < 0.001). W/L ratio was correlated with carotid PWV (r = 0.18, P < 0.005). At multivariate analysis, carotid PWV remained independently associated with W/L ratio.


In hypertensive and normotensive patients, carotid stiffness is significantly correlated with W/L ratio of retinal arteries, independently of possible confounders.

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